Google said in September that the feature will be rolling out to more Android phones soon. It is said that it started appearing on some Samsung OnePlus devices. Older Pixel devices that you originally didn’t have access to are also getting it now.
The feature allows you to choose and place specific photos or videos in the locked folder that is protected by a passcode or biometrics.
Putting it in a locked folder removes it from your main photo feed and keeps it out of the cloud. The feature was introduced on Google’s own phones (Pixel 3 and above) in June, after it was announced at Google I/O 2021 in May.
The feature must be available for phones running Android 6 or later. Once the new feature arrives, users receive a locked folder setup notification from the Photos app.
You can access it by going to Google Photos, then the Library tab, and then Utilities.
Google also said the feature is coming to the iOS version of Google Photos early next year.
And if you have the feature and want to use it, it’s worth noting that photos stored in the locked folder will not be backed up to the cloud. They are deleted if you uninstall the app or erase your device without moving it.
Another option for where to store Google Photos
While the Pixel Camera app allows users to save new photos and videos directly to the folder after taking them, it’s unclear at this point if this feature might also be available for other Android camera apps.
As a security precaution, users cannot take screenshots when they are inside the locked folder. The only two actions available when viewing media are move or delete.
Google’s announcement of the expanded rollout of the Locked Folder feature came along with a host of other new features.
Some of these new features include the ability to use Android phones as remote controls. Plus new Android Auto features and accessibility.